My hubby is doing so great three weeks into Intermittent Fasting*! I am excited to be doing this lifestyle with him, getting healthy together and losing weight. (We have been on our Plexus journey together for nearly two years, but now he is also losing weight with Plexus and IF!) We have big ballroom dance goals for the coming new year–and our weight loss efforts will go a long way in helping his knees and heels feel strong enough to dance more. (And I have secret plans for some amazing dips and twelve-consecutive-twirls!)
One thing that makes weight loss much easier for him than for me is that he absolutely loves vegetables! Whether they are Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans, Skillet Green Beans, Roasted Vegetables, or stir fries, he eats them in bulk (good thing they are so low calorie and low carb!). Because he loves veggies so much, I am always looking for new ways to prepare them. He usually tells me to just roast or stir fry them–and to not spend the extra time on him. But I know how he loves creamed peas, so when I saw various creamed spinach recipes floating around, I knew I wanted to try some sort of creamy greens for him.
And this Creamy Greens dish was a complete hit! He even liked it re-heated a couple days later. It is a little on the fatty side–but there are ways to make it less fattening; however, if you are keto or THM, it is a perfect, real-food, high-fat/low carb recipe. There are variations given below.
The greens cook quickly right in the same skillet or high-sided pan that cooked the bacon and onion.
If you have read my blog for long, you know that I believe in the power of dilution to make formerly-unpalatable foods more enjoyable to those of us with “ten year old” taste buds. 🙂 If you want your veggie-hating kids to enjoy a dish like this, here are some ways to “dilute” this for them:
1) Use more meat or bacon
2) Use more cream cheese or Parmesan
3) Use all kale rather than spinach (less strong flavor)
This dish uses creamed cheese for the creaminess as opposed to a flour-milk/cream roux, which adds carbs (but saves fat). So….there are actually several options for lowering the fat of this dish:
1) Omit the cream cheese and use a milk (almond milk is super low in fat)/flour roux like traditional cream dishes do (you will be sacrificing flavor here)
2) Use a lower fat meat, such as cubed turkey ham or turkey link sausage or ground turkey
3) If you use the lower fat meat, consider stir frying the onion (and eventually the greens) in an enhanced broth rather than butter or bacon fat (I do this all the time in stir frying vegetables–small amount of olive oil with strong broth that has bay leaf, garlic, red wine, Worcestershire, minced onion, etc., steeped in it.)
4) Use a stronger cheese but smaller amount.
And…the cream cheese and Parmesan folds quickly into the greens. This dish comes together so fast—all in one pan!
You know how I love efficiency! After thirty-two years of homeschooling and fifteen years of business building with a big family, I need to take short cuts quite often. I know you do too! Thus, I included a couple of short cut steps in the recipe:
1) Many recipes for creamed spinach had separate pans and steps for boiling the spinach. It is not necessary! The greens cook quickly and perfectly right in the one-and-only-pan!
2) The creamed cheese and Parmesan melt into the greens smoothly. I always found roux-making time consuming, so I love using creamed cheese rather than a roux in creamy, low carb dishes.
3) You can cut the time in half in this recipe if you don’t snip and cook bacon. Seriously, the other steps are that fast! (The greens cook in a few minutes!) You can use precooked bacon (or real bacon bits), store bought ham cubes, etc., and then cook the onions in butter (or broth as given above).
4) Buy pre-cut and cleaned greens. I used a huge container of mixed spinach, kale, and carrot flecks from a wholesale club. Easy peasy.
5) Use whipped cream cheese that melts even faster and pre-shredded/pre-grated cheese.
Hubby loved this delicious, creamy veggie dish!
Hope these tips help you! I love teaching when sharing recipes! I hope you enjoy “learning” from them too!
Below are links to the ingredients I use in the recipe above. I am an affiliate for Amazon.com. If you click on the links below I will earn a small commission. Thank you for your support of this blog!
- 6 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces (or 1 to 2 TBSP butter)
- ½ medium onion, chopped (or 1 tsp onion powder)
- 2½ lbs (3 to 4 bunches) of spinach and kale (or just spinach)
- dash of red wine vinegar
- dash cayenne pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- pinch of nutmeg
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- (Optional: ½ cup milk, cream, or half and half--I didn't use this, but it you want yours soup-ier or want to extend the dish to serve another or you want to reduce the calories/fat per serving, you can use almond milk and do that)
- ) Cook bacon pieces and diced onion in large sided skillet or pan. (If not using bacon, cook onion in butter.)
- ) Add greens and continue to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are wilty.
- ) Add all ingredients except for cheeses.
- ) Stir thoroughly and turn pan down to medium low.
- ) Add cream cheese cut into cubes and stir into pan, continuing to cook on medium low until melted (4 to 6 minutes).
- ) Sprinkle cheese over and fold in and serve.